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Aníbal Sánchez, Miles Mikolas to square off in NLCS Game 1

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The Nationals and Cardinals have tabbed starters for Game 1 of the NLCS, set for Friday night in St. Louis. The visiting Nationals will send veteran Aníbal Sánchez to the hill to oppose Miles Mikolas, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and Anne Rogers, respectively. While the Nationals haven’t set the rest of their rotation yet, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has set up Adam Wainwright for Game 2, Jack Flaherty for Game 3, and Dakota Hudson for Game 4.

Sánchez, 35, was quite good in his NLDS Game 3 start against the Dodgers, limiting them to a lone run while scattering four hits and a pair of walks with nine strikeouts over five innings. Sánchez is, in a lot of ways, an afterthought when discussing the Nationals’ rotation which boasts Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin. The Cardinals know well enough not to underestimate Sánchez, who posted a 3.85 ERA across 30 regular season starts.

Mikolas, 31, enjoyed a major league career rebirth last year after spending several years in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants. In 2018, he led the league with 18 wins while posting a 2.83 ERA in 200 2/3 innings. He finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting. He wasn’t able to follow up with the same level of success this year, finishing the regular season leading the league with 14 losses along with a 4.16 ERA. Mikolas was good in his NLDS Game 1 start against the Braves, though, allowing a lone run over five innings. He also tossed a perfect inning of relief in Game 4.

Nationals-Cardinals is definitely not the NLCS many of us predicted — certainly not I — but it should be a fun one.

Buster Posey has opted out of the season

Buster Posey has opted out
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Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The San Francisco Giants have issued a statement saying that they “fully support Buster’s decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.”

Posey and his wife are adopting identical twin girls who were born prematurely and who are currently in the NICU and will be for some time. They are stable, but obviously theirs is not a situation that would be amenable to the demands of a baseball season as it’s currently structured.

Poset had missed all of the Giants’ workouts so far, Recently he said, “I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well. I think I want to see kind of how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. I think it would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, not only around you here but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country.” He said that he talked about playing with his wife quite a great deal but, really, this seems like a no-brainer decision on his part.

In opting out Posey is foregoing the 60-game proration of his $21.4 million salary. He is under contract for one more year at $21.4 million as well. The Giants can pick up his 2022 club option for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million.

A veteran of 11 seasons, Posey has earned about $124 million to date. Which seems to be the common denominator with players who have opted out thus far. With the exception of Joe Ross and Héctor Noesí, the players to have opted out thus far have earned well above $10 million during their careers. Players that aren’t considered “high risk” and elect not to play do not get paid and do not receive service time.